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brian10

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Reply with quote  #1 
Is anybody else bothered by the actors that are cast to play key characters and the glaring changes to the plots detailed in the book?

Don't get me wrong, I really like the series so far (midway through S02), but some of the changes have left me appalled.  I'm putting it down to "political correctness" emanating from either Amazon or Michael Connelly himself.

Case in point - Irv Irving (I mean really!  He's supposed to be a twin for "Mr Clean" and I always pictured him as white.)

Harry himself is supposed to resemble more of a leaner, darker, "Mannix" type, but at least Titus Welliver is a good actor I guess.

The non-death of officer Brasher was also bothersome to me.  I remembered her dying in the books because the bullet got trapped behind her kevlar vest from the self-inflicted wound and I had to go back to confirm this.  The jaunt down "sexual harassment-lane" was a pointless trip I thought.

The rest of the casting seems to be at least half black for no apparent reason that I can fathom.

If they are going for an "updated realism" then they should follow the current demographics of LA, but somehow Hispanics are practically invisible and blacks are way over-represented.

"The racial/ethnic/cultural composition of Los Angeles as of the 2005-2009 American Community Survey was as follows:[2]

fred7771

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Reply with quote  #2 
My overall impression of Irving has changed since I started to read the Bosch books.  I think the character has evolved and the Irving I read about in The Drop, perhaps mainly due to the death of a family member, seemed less antagonistic towards HB.  This evolution, from a controlling and power-seeking (and famously jaw-clenching) martinet to a bit of a burnt out company man, appears to be the Irving we're getting in the Amazon series.  I guess I was surprised in the first episode of the first year series that he was black.  But that sense of surprise didn't last long because the actor possesses charisma and seems real and suited for the role.
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Jeannie

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Reply with quote  #3 
I always assumed Irving was white, but why?
The book doesn't say one way or another. 
I probably assumed it BC I happen to be white.  But what difference does it make? 

Like Fred says, that guy is great in the role.

I agree I did not think of the Bosch character as being Titus Welliver.  But Michael created the character, and he helped choose him so who am I to say otherwise?  TW certainly does have his qualities.
cc_in_oh

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Reply with quote  #4 
I think it's in Angels Flight that Irving insists that Edgar and Rider "appear" at the press conference podium with him in a cynical show of racial sensitivity that both detectives resent. While that doesn't absolutely rule out a black Irving, to me it's a very strong indication that Irving is white. That's the most racially-charged book; in its context it's hard to imagine Connelly neglecting to mention the race of a black Irving...

I agree that Lance Reddick is well-suited for the part, but have mixed feelings about the series making both Irving and his son considerably more heroic than in the books...

Donelson

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Reply with quote  #5 
I love ALL the changes made to the series. The quality is outstanding, the actors almost flawless, and the mixing of plots from several books, the changing of some plot elements, is PERFECTLY balanced.

The TV series seems both familiar AND brand new.

And best of all, I can take these terrific images and characters BACK into the books when I read them again. And I will!

Fabulous!

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SLBBAMA16

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Reply with quote  #6 
I find the TV series too cutesy; Bosch's dopey comebacks make him seem like a character from a sitcom in the 1980's. (Three's Company)

There is little to no character development and except for his daughter and partner none of them are likable.

Really disappointing. 

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loyalfan

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Reply with quote  #7 
Wow.  I mean really?  I love the Irv Irving in the TV show.  I don't see why he would need to be white.  The character on the show is so powerful.  I have started reading again from the start and there does not appear to be a reason that Irv would be white through Concrete Blond.  I also resigned myself to the fact that as executive producer, Michael can change the story and make it fit now as he sees fit.  I doubt the "tunnel rat" used in the first books would work with the audience they seek.  So while it is prominent in the early books, it is not needed in the TV show.
brian10

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Reply with quote  #8 
Irving was clearly white in the books (as referenced in the description of him as Mr Clean's twin).  I get that there are changes made but some of them go too far for me.

Again I DO like the series, but I still feel there is a definite pandering to blacks in the show and a gross under-representation of Hispanics if an "updated" Bosch is supposed to be the goal.

As somebody else hinted about his background in the Amazon show, his entire Vietnam era tunnel rat background has been deleted completely.  I think some of what made (book) Bosch tick will be completely lost as a result. In this "refreshed" version of Bosch, he is a kid in 1979 when his mom is killed, so that completely changes the time frame of many events.

For example, in the books where the LA riots of the early 90's factor in, I don't know how they can get around it as (book) Bosch had a different perspective as a seasoned veteran at the time, and Amazon Bosch would have been closer to a rookie.

The "boys" home where (book) Bosch grew up would have been a lot different than a 1979 boys home and prostitution was looked upon differently in the 50's vs the 70's.  Book Bosch's discomfort with technology but stellar ability to get the job done anyway doesn't come across on the show.

I also agree that the relationship with his daughter is completely lacking in foundation.  I enjoyed the slow buildup and surprise when he first found out he had a daughter.  Curious to see if the "Nine Dragons" plotline will be used for season 3.
cc_in_oh

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Reply with quote  #9 
I suppose they could retcon Nine Dragons but it would be awkward - the phony abduction scenario was OK for a 13yo Maddie but would be totally out of character for the older TV Maddie. At this point they've kept EW around much longer than the expiration date based on Maddie's age, though maybe Clarke will leave if her NCIS role becomes permanent. Or they could just skip the shooting or make it non-fatal without messing things up any more than they already have.

OTOH 9D was kind of an outlier that could be hard to cobble together with other cases as they've been doing so far...
brian10

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Reply with quote  #10 
...and where, oh where is Rachel Walling?
Jeannie

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Reply with quote  #11 
Rachel Walling is shacked up with Jack McEvoy.

I think the TV show has incorporated Rachel's profiling shtick into Eleanor Wish's character.

brian10

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Reply with quote  #12 
Harry had more adventures with Walling than with Wish.  If the characters have been effectively merged then what's the point?  I know in the current novels Walling is with McEvoy, but it was a long road to get there as I recall.  If they're going to keep Wish alive, then I suppose Harry is never going to struggle as a single parent or intersect that much with Mickey Haller either?
Tassone

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Reply with quote  #13 
Well, even an dumb italian like myself knows the difference between "Inspired by Connelly's serie/character Bosch" and "TV trasposition of every Connelly's Bosch novel".

I got used and now appreciate the style "They are stories from the Bosch's world, sometimes a parallel Bosch's world, but still Connelly's writing"

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Reply with quote  #14 
I agree Tassone.  

The TV show is a completely different animal to the books.  It had to be updated due to the books being first published in 1992 with his tunnel rat background appropriate to that era.  So some of the traits that made Harry in the books have to be changed for the TV show. Personally, I think they've done an excellent job. 

If anything, Jerry Edgar is the biggest surprise to me. He's incredibly likable in the show, but in the books, he sometimes infuriated Bosch and did things that didn't make him that likable.    

I'm just glad MC has had a huge say in the show and think they got the casting right. They could have excluded him and really messed things up.  As a long time HB/MC fan, I'm extremely happy with how its been adapted for TV and although it was definitely a long time coming, it was the right time to do it!



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Abacus

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannie
I always assumed Irving was white, but why?
The book doesn't say one way or another. 
I probably assumed it BC I happen to be white.  But what difference does it make? 

Like Fred says, that guy is great in the role.

I agree I did not think of the Bosch character as being Titus Welliver.  But Michael created the character, and he helped choose him so who am I to say otherwise?  TW certainly does have his qualities.



Actually, it does in one of them.

Of course, now you are going to ask which one, and I'm not sure. I read that book after I first read this thread, and went AHA!
christelamon

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Reply with quote  #16 
The TV show is a re-imagining of the books, just like Longmire re-imagines Craig Johnson's series. The character achetypes remain, but individual traits and details are changed. Otherwise, the TV show would just rehash the books, and that would only appeal to hardcore HB fans. Amazon obviously wants to reach a broader audience than that.

Unlike many HB readers, I've only listened to the HB books on audio. Thus, I've had my character images built solely on narration - mostly Len Cariou's. Given MC's descriptions, I've always pictured Bosch looking like a cross between Hugh Laurie and Tom Skerrit. J. Edgar like a younger Clarke Peters; Kiz like Sonja Sohn (also from the Wire). So when I saw Lance Reddick as Irving and Jamie Hector as J. Edgar (two more Wire alums), I adjusted quickly.

Titus was the real paradigm shift, mostly because of his age. Titus is roughly my age, and Bosch has always been ten years older than me. However, Titus won me over, especially since he started narrating the audios. NOTE - his impression of Matthew Mcconaughey as the voice of Mickey Haller, always kills me.

In the Bosch TV universe, Eleanor and Rachel seemed to be combined, which makes sense for a TV show. Each character has a rich history in the books, but they are too similar to be adequately and distinctly rendered within the limited confines of a teleplay.

I approach the TV show the way I view the Marvel comic book movies and countless other adaptations of iconic characters from one medium into another. As long as the essence of the character remains true, the various details can change. This maxim does not, however, apply to the Jack Reacher movies. Next Hollywood will cast Johnny Dep as Joe Pike.

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cc_in_oh

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by christelamon
The TV show is a re-imagining of the books, just like Longmire re-imagines Craig Johnson's series. The character achetypes remain, but individual traits and details are changed. Otherwise, the TV show would just rehash the books, and that would only appeal to hardcore HB fans. Amazon obviously wants to reach a broader audience than that..


Halfway through the Longmire books I'm kind of amazed that it translated to TV at all. With the first-person narration you see a very different Walt entirely from the inside out. The TV version is extremely distilled and sanitized, though still not a bad show and Branch was a good addition.

I'm looking forward to trying Elmore Leonard next...
christelamon

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Reply with quote  #18 
Justified is a great TV show, and aside from a few nuances Tim Olyphant "is" Raylan Givens and Walton Givens is even more Boyd Crowder than Elmore Leonard wrote. Personally, I'm curious to see what Hollywood does if Crais' Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are ever cast for movies or television. Elvis could be played by any number of actors, from Chris Pratt to Dominic West to the above-mentioned Mr. Olyphant. Joe Pike would be challenging, however. The best bet would be a pro-wrestler like John Cena if he could actually act.
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cc_in_oh

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Reply with quote  #19 
Goggins was incredible himself but also brought out stellar performances from the others, especially Joelle Carter. Justified is one of a small handful of shows that I definitely plan to re-watch someday. The A&E Nero Wolfe is another...
McDusty61

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannie
I always assumed Irving was white, but why?
The book doesn't say one way or another. 


I have heard him referred to as Mr. Clean as the one in the commercials with tough guy looks and bald head. That is why I had him pictured in my mind as white.
herefordjack

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hi folks, a huge British fan of Michael Connelly making his debut post here. First of all, I've found this thread very, very interesting. My personal visualization of Harry Bosch was always the actor Ed Harris in his younger days, but obviously even if the producers of the TV show agreed, Ed is obviously too old now to be cast!

After years of dipping in and out of the Bosch series of novels, I decided a couple of months ago to buy them on Ebay one at a time (as well as the other Connelly novels) and read them in chronological order. I'm also watching the TV series. I'm now up to 'The Narrows' in the novel sequence, and Series 2, episode 1 in the TV series.

A question which is driving me mad - I know I've read the novel featuring the sub plot with the two corrupt police officers running the prostitute blackmail scam, and they've now popped up in Series 2 , episode 1 on TV, but I can't for the life of me remember which novel they're in. Can anyone oblige?

I have to agree that I've always visualized Irv Irving as white, probably looking something like the British actor Mark Strong  - Google his picture and tell me if you agree. I do think Lance Reddick plays the role really well though.

I think I've also come across Michael Connelly's first 'continuity error' in my current novel 'The Narrows', where Bosch explains his penny pinching stay in the downmarket motel in Vegas by saying he still has a mortgage on his LA property, but I'm sure he said not long ago, maybe the previous novel, when justifying splashing out on an expensive Mercedes SUV, that he quit the LAPD with a good pension and no mortgage to worry about. We all know he bought his house on Woodrow Wilson Drive with the fees from his one off consultancy on a TV crime show.  Or am I missing something? 
cc_in_oh

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Reply with quote  #22 
Maybe he had to refinance to pay for earthquake damage repairs?
christelamon

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Reply with quote  #23 
The corrupt cops running the prostitute scam appear in The Crossing, which occurs after The Narrows in series order. They are dealt with by both Harry & Mickey Haller in The Crossing. I'm confused how you encountered them if you're only on The Narrows. Did you happen to read the Mickey Haller books before the Bosch series? If you did, then you encountered the pair of cops out of sequence.

Ed Harris would make an interesting Bosch. As I've said before on these boards, I always saw Tom Skerritt as Harry when I started reading the books back in the 90s. Probably because I was such a Picket Fences (American TV show) fan.

Harry in the books is at least fifteen years older than TV Harry. However, I feel Connelly may start doing the same thing in the Bosch books that Robert Crais has done with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. I call it de-aging. The references to Cole's & Pike's military service are not specific to Vietnam anymore, and I feel Bosch's military service may be dealt with similarly. I hope not because I'm a stickler for continuity. However, it might become a necessity in the next few years as Harry gets into his 70s.

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Donelson

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Reply with quote  #24 
Very interesting discussion, Thank you. I think de-aging book Harry would be a bad idea though, as "tunnel rat" forms such a strong core of his character.

TV Harry is just fine. The mixing of 3 books per season is pure genius - familiar yet totally fresh. And the plot changes allow continuity at a lower budget, and higher audience enjoyment.

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herefordjack

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Reply with quote  #25 
Christelamon, I haven't read The Crossing and you know, the more I think about it, the more I think I'm confusing the corrupt police officers storyline with something similar I read in the Jonathan Kellerman 'Alex Delaware' series. Apologies to all dedicated Harry Bosch fans for mentioning that! As you can tell, I'm a big fan of all well written American crime fiction.

Yes, I understand where you're coming from on de-aging. Is MC going to let Harry Bosch age gracefully, or is he going to transport him to a kind of LA crime 'Neverland'? Tough call.
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